CRUCIAL signs that someone is being abused need to be more widely known, according to a Gosport charity.
Marvels and Meltdowns, based at the Little Waves Centre in Mill Lane, specialises in care for youngsters with autism and ADHD.
But now, staff at the charity have also turned their attention to domestic abuse, becoming the first ‘Ask Me’ ambassadors in the town.
The Ask Me initiative is run by Stop Domestic Abuse, teaching people the tell-tale signs that someone they know could be experiencing it.
Marvels and Meltdowns co-founder Shandrika Day says the group wants to turn its centre into a safe space for everyone.
‘We went through four weeks of training to help use spot the signs of potential domestic abuse,’ she said.
‘Marvels and Meltdowns is already quite a hub for the community, but domestic abuse remains a taboo subject in society – people still don’t talk about it openly.
‘We want this to be a safe space for survivors where they can come and talk about what they’re experiencing.’
Currently, six of the Marvels and Meltdowns team have become ‘Ask Me’ ambassadors.
It all started with Stop Domestic Abuse using one of the rooms at the Little Waves Centre for their courses – which the Marvels and Meltdowns team has described as a really eye-opening experience.
Now, Shandrika is hoping that other organisations in the town will take note, so that more people know what to look out for.
She said: ‘People know about domestic abuse, but not everyone knows what the signs of it are.
‘The more people who are willing to get on board, from charities to schools and businesses, the better.
‘When it is talked about more, it becomes more recognised and that is also what vies people the strength to come forward and talk about the next step they need to take.
‘We are really proud of being the first Ask Me ambassadors in Gosport, and hopefully others will want to do follow suit.’